Transmission delays and frequency detuning can regulate information flow between brain regions

Pariz, A., Fischer, I., Valizadeh, A. Mirasso, C.
Plos Computational Biology 17, e1008129 (2021)

Brain networks exhibit very variable and dynamical functional connectivity and flexible configurations of information exchange despite their overall fixed structure. Brain oscillations are hypothesized to underlie time-dependent functional connectivity by periodically changing the excitability of neural populations. In this paper, we investigate the role of the connection delay and the detuning between the natural frequencies of neural populations in the transmission of signals. Based on numerical simulations and analytical arguments, we show that the amount of information transfer between two oscillating neural populations could be determined by their connection delay and the mismatch in their oscillation frequencies. Our results highlight the role of the collective phase response curve of the oscillating neural populations for the efficacy of signal transmission and the quality of the information transfer in brain networks.

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